2010-2011 Accessibility Plan

The Honorable Steve Peters, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly

ISSN 1710-5625

Introduction

This annual accessibility plan has been developed by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario to outline its commitments for 2010-2011 to ensure that no new barriers are created and that, over time, existing ones are removed.

The Legislative Assembly continues to build on its achievements by implementing initiatives to make Ontario an inclusive and accessible province where people of all abilities have a chance to fully achieve their potential.

Message from the Speaker

All public sector and broader public sector organizations are required by law to have an annual accessibility plan and to make it available to the public. This is the seventh year in which plans have been written and are being implemented by organizations such as ours across the province.

The Legislative Assembly is committed to improving accessibility through identifying, removing and preventing barriers in key areas of customer service, employment, communications and information, and the built environment.

At the Assembly we continue to build on the success of our previous plans and are continuing to look for ways to better meet the needs of people with disabilities who come into contact with the Assembly, regardless of whether they are staff, members of the general public or Members of the Provincial Parliament.

If you have any comments or concerns, I encourage you to send them using the contact information located at the end of this document.

Sincerely,
Hon. Steve Peters
Speaker, Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Report on Status of Customer Service Requirements

1. The Assembly will establish policies, practices and procedures relating to the provision of goods and services to people with disabilities.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The Assembly's current policies, practices and procedures are being reviewed for appropriateness and new policies are being developed and put into place as needed.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010.

2. The Assembly will use reasonable efforts to ensure that the Assembly's policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality and opportunity.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The Assembly's current policies, practices and procedures are being reviewed for appropriateness and new policies are being developed and put into place as needed.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010.

3. The Assembly will continue its practice of allowing people to use their own personal assistive devices to access its goods and use its services. This practice is being formalized into a policy.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010.

4. Assembly staff will communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: All staff will be trained, retrained or refreshed in the appropriate method of communicating with a person with a disability.
  • Implementation Timeframe: December 2009.

5. The Assembly will continue its practice of allowing people with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in the Legislative Building.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

6. The Assembly will continue its practice of permitting people with disabilities who use a support person to bring that person with them while accessing the Assembly's goods or services in the Legislative Building.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

7. The Assembly will provide notice of any admission fee that may be charged for a support person of a person with a disability.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

8. The Assembly will provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access or use the Assembly's goods or services are temporarily disrupted.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The current practice is being reviewed for appropriateness and formalized in a policy.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

9. The Assembly will train staff, volunteers and contractors who interact with the public on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.

  • Commitment: To be completed by December 2009.

10. The Assembly will train staff involved in developing Assembly policies, practices and procedures on the provision of Assembly goods and services on a number of topics as outlined in the customer service standard.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The Working Group and the appropriate staff have received proper updates and needed training and will continue to upgrade their knowledge as needed.
  • Implementation Timeframe: November 2009 to March 2011

11. The Assembly will establish a process for people to provide feedback on how the Assembly provides goods or services to people with disabilities and how it will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints. The information about the Assembly's feedback process will be made readily available to the public.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The Assembly is considering how best to provide an avenue for feedback and response and how to make that feedback process available to the public.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010.

Report on Commitments

Focus Area: Built Environment: The design of the Assembly's security desks will be modified to ensure that those with disabilities have proper access to the desks.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Results Achieved: Three of the security stations in the Legislative Building have been redesigned and will be built and installed by March 2010.
  • Planned Action: The remaining security stations that are located at other entry points in the Legislative Building and Whitney Block will be reviewed to determine if modifications are needed to ensure that they do not act as a barrier to those with disabilities who approach them or who work in them.
  • Implementation Timeframe: Completion of three new desks by March 2010. Other desks to be reviewed and/or redesigned during fiscal year 2010-2011.

Focus Area: Built Environment: There will be a review of the washrooms in the Pages' quarters in the Legislative Building to ensure that they meet the needs of those with disabilities.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Results Achieved: The washrooms in the Pages' quarters in the Legislative Building have been redesigned.
  • Planned Action: If funding is approved, the washrooms will be modified to meet current barrier-free standards.
  • Implementation Timeframe: April 2010 to March 2011.

Focus Area: Built Environment: Consideration will be given to installing hand railings on the stairs behind the grand staircase.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: This would be the completion of the project to install a new accessibility elevator behind the grand staircase.
  • Implementation Timeframe: April 2010 to March 2011.

Focus Area: Built Environment: An elevator will be installed in the west wing of the Legislative Building housing the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

  • Commitment: Completed.

Focus Area: Built Environment: Signage throughout the main Legislative Building will continue to be reviewed to ensure that it is appropriate for those with disabilities.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Planned Action: The review is continuing and sign changes are made as needed.
  • Implementation Timeframe: April 2010 to March 2011.

Focus Area: Information and Communication: The Working Group will organize an accessibility awareness event tied in with the Assembly's Health Fair to inform Assembly staff about the new AODA regulations and to make them more aware of the needs of the disabled.

  • Commitment: Ongoing
  • Results Achieved: The ODA Working Group created a brochure and a display at the Assembly's Health Fair to keep staff informed about the Assembly's progress in reducing barriers and the impact of the new ODA regulations. Members of the committee also made a presentation on these topics to the Assembly's management team of Executive Directors and Directors.
  • Planned Action: The Working Group will continue to look for the best ways to inform Assembly staff about the new AODA regulations and to make them more aware of the needs of the disabled.

Focus Area: Information and Communication: As part of its efforts to make all of its publications fully accessibility, the Assembly will review the current standards that it uses to create, capture and preserve information. The goal is to make the materials available on its website in a fully accessible format.

Commitment: Ongoing

  • Achieved Results: The Assembly's new intranet site was completed and launched in August 2010. The site meets accessibility design standards. Remediation work continues on the content of the site.
  • Planned Action: A review will be made of the best standards for making accessible electronic data and information through the Assembly's webiste. Procedures will be revised as needed based upon the review.
  • Implementation Timeframe: November 2009 to March 2011.

Focus Area: Information and Communication: Improve accessibility to the proceedings of the Legislature for those seated in the Speaker's Gallery, the public area of the Chamber with barrier-free access.

  • Planned Action: A monitor displaying closed captioning of the proceedings of the Legislature will be installed in the Speaker's Gallery.
  • Implementation Timeframe: January 2010

Comments about the Legislative Assembly's accessibility plan are always welcome.

For more information please contact:

Vicki Whitmell, MLS
Executive Director Legislative Library
Legislative Assembly of Ontario
416-325-3939
vicki_whitmell@ontla.ola.org
Website: www.ontla.on.ca

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ISSN 1710-5625

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